Reported by Christina Hammond
I love to sew and piece quilts, but I have to admit something. I suck at precise cutting. There, I said it! As a result, I have come to rely on die cutting, especially when it comes to specialty shapes and appliques. I have different die cutting machines, but the dies are expensive and bulky. The Slice Fabrique by Making Memories has the potential to solve that issue for me. This compact little machine automatically cuts fabric shapes from a design card in sizes ranging from 1” to 4” square. The Fabrique measures 5” square and weighs roughly one pound. And it’s cordless!
When my Slice Fabrique arrived I just could not wait to try it, deciding to read the instructions as I went. The Fabrique comes partially charged, but it only takes an hour to charge. You can use it while plugged it as well.
|Everything from the Slice Fabrique Starter Kit|
To use the Slice Fabrique, you need the supplied glass cutting mat, a design card (a basic one is included) and fabric with a special fusible web ironed to the back. The box for the Fabrique only includes three 6” square pieces of the fusible web, so plan on getting more right away.
|Sliding the design card into the back of the Fabrique|
Setting up the machine and cutting mat really couldn’t be easier. Simply slide the design card of your choice into the back, iron the fusible web to the back of you fabric and prepare the glass cutting mat with the repositionable glue.
|Apply more glue than “a thin bead” as per the instructions.|
At this point the instructions say to apply a thin coat of the provided re-positionable glue. I found that I needed to apply a pretty hefty coat of glue and wait a few minutes for it to dry before I could effectively use the machine. The glue turns clear when it is ready to use, and it does have a slight odor. If there is not enough glue, your fabric will slip as the blade is slicing around the desired shape. It should also be noted that the small tube of provided glue will not last you very long because so much is needed and for best results I had to reapply between each cutting. I have to admit that I had a hard time with the supplied glue, it just didn’t hold as well as I had hoped it would. I had roughly a 30% success rate with the glue, and had to reapply it with each and every cut to get nice useable shapes, unless I was cutting paper. Once I got the Slice Spray Adhesive, things improved greatly.
|Showing the small blade under the Fabrique|
The blade for the Fabrique is adjustable, allowing you to cut through different thicknesses of fabric (such as felt or canvas). After selecting your design and waiting for your glue to dry, stick your fused fabric to the glass cutting mat. Press really firmly to make sure there are no bubbles or creases and to make sure the fabric is really well stuck to the glass mat. Put the Fabrique on top and press the cut button. You’ll have to hold the cutter still as it works, but it’s done in under 10 seconds. Holding the cutter is easy enough, although it does want to move itself if you are cutting through very thick fabrics.
A note about the size of the fabric: If you are using the supplied re-postionable glue, you really need a six inch square of fabric, so that the fabric extends beyond the edges of the cutters’ rim. I found this was not necessary if you use the spray adhesive. There is also no mention in manual on how to set the machine in relation to the gridmarks on the glass mat so you can conserve fabrics etc. (my trick was to select the desired design, and get the blade to it’s starting point and position as desired and THEN hitting cut button but it wasn’t perfect)
|Applying the design|
After peeling the cut designs from the glass cutting mat, I learned that it really is helpful to have some sort of tool to help delicately lift the pieces. Between pulling the pieces off of the mat and the paper off the fusible, the more detailed areas of my design frayed/stretched a bit. Slice does sell a spatula designed specifically for lifting your designs, and it would be an investment well worth the money.
After ironing the pieces to my background, I did an applique stitch around the edges to permanently secure it and keep the edges from fraying. The result is a super sweet baby wipe container for the stylish new Mommy. Pretty cute, right?
I applied the same technique to cut out the sweetest Easter flower. This time I ironed the design onto a cream colored felt and hot glued a great little poufy flower from Making Memories Dilly Dally line onto the top. Voila! The sweetest Easter headband for the little girl in your life.
|Quick and Easy Tote Bag|
I cut out this little design while my kids were eating breakfast, and had a finished tote bag for the car in under an hour. I used 3 different fusible webs (Slice, Pellon and Heat-n-Bond) and all 3 cut well using the spray repositionable adhesive. I preferred to use my favorite Heat-n-Bond sewable web because the paper backing came off much easier after cutting and there was less chance of distorting my cut pieces.
|Fabrique with Making Memories Dilly Dally and Tie the Knot scrapbooking supplies|
One of the great things about the Slice Fabrique is that (if you have crafting ADD like I do), you can use it to do so much more than just cutting fabric! I decided to try it, just to see what I could do with it. All of the accessories for the Slice Elite work with Fabrique. Design cards, drawing tips, embossing tips and materials from the Elite line all work with the Fabrique. Be sure to check the manual for instructions on settings. If you do use the Elite design cards to cut fabric, keep in mind that more intricate designs might not work very well.
For this sweet little card for a new baby boy, I used the Fabrique to cut scrapbooking papers from the Dilly Dally line by Making Memories. For this friendly little note I cut out a fabric butterfly and fused it to the card with the iron. Couldn’t be easier!
- small, compact and portable
- ability to cut more than just fabric
- the provided re-positionable glue does not work very well, buy the can of spray adhesive.
- limited design size flexibility. You can cut 1” to 4” in only 1/2” increments.
- instruction manual can be vague at times
- no spatula or tool provided in the starter kit
- cost of the design cards ($30-$40 each)
- supplies and accessories were difficult to find locally
The great folks at Making Memories are giving away the newest member to the Slice Family, the Slice Fabrique, to one lucky reader. Just answer the any of the following questions in the comment section of this article on this blog to be entered: